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What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet Era

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.

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What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet Era

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 6:49 am

I was born in former USSR in mid 1980s and my family immigrated to USA in early 1990s.
So, as a child, I remember Russian/Ukrainian women very well.
To say frankly, the overwhelming majority of them were fat and ugly.

That's right. There is the myth that Russian/Ukrainian women are some of the most beautiful in the world.
But only top 2-3% of them have natural beauty.
And only Millennial women (and the youngest among Gen-Xer women) in Russia/Ukraine have slimmed down and have started to take care of their looks.
But prior to that, Russian/Ukrainian women were terrible to look at.
Until sometime in early 2000s, the majority of women of all ages on the territory of former USSR were landwhales.

http://pulson.ru/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/272.jpg
http://pulson.ru/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/56.jpg
http://pulson.ru/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/172.jpg
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/300685712597734854/
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/437552920029893892/
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/237213105351330502/
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/542754192572290434/
https://thumb1.shutterstock.com/display ... 163413.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/cb/f8/fe/cbf8feae026624cf8f016d9c024e0cb7--ww-women-army-women.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/1c/c4/97/1cc497189443e4a49c8a228acfe23fb9--woman-warrior-soviet-union.jpg
http://media.englishrussia.com/112012/sovwom/sovwom006-262.jpg

http://englishrussia.com/2012/08/05/what-did-it-mean-to-be-a-soviet-woman/
http://englishrussia.com/2012/08/05/what-did-it-mean-to-be-a-soviet-woman/2/
http://englishrussia.com/2012/08/05/what-did-it-mean-to-be-a-soviet-woman/3/

Personally, these pictures make my member go limp.

USSR did not have epidemiology of female obesity and did not keep track of its health statistics. Even if it did publish some records, the numbers were often manipulated and changed to fit propaganda. So, it is very hard to find any real data of female obesity in USSR.
But I am almost positive that female obesity in USSR was higher than female obesity in today's United States. I think that female obesity in USSR was at least as high as female obesity among today's African-Americans.
I know an old tailor from USSR, who told me that the standard height of young women was 155-160 cm (about 5'1 to 5'3) and the standard weight range of young women was 75-90 kg (about 165 to 200 lbs). This means that the standard female BMI range was 29 to 37.5.

Also, Soviet propaganda portrayed an ideal woman are thick skinned, with a broad face, with short hair, usually blonde with colorless eyes, with large arms and muscular hands, with thick hips and a large belly. Usually a peasant girl or a factory girl.
Slender women were considered not good, almost subversive. Especially slim brunettes were considered almost as outcasts and were almost ostracized. The gist was: "a woman taking care of her weight, growing out her hair long, wearing lipstick, is trying to look like decadent bourgeois femme fatale, and this is unacceptable in our society. Such a woman is one step away from being a whore."
In classic Soviet films, beautiful slender women were regularly cast as negative characters, usually as American she-spies.
For example, in the classic 1968 comedy film "The Diamond Arm", a rare beautiful actress Sveltana Svetlichnaya (b. 1940) plays an American she-spy, and because she is slender, has a feminine face, has long hair, and dresses in a feminine way, it is obvious that the character is a foreign spy.

Whenever an overweight Soviet young woman was told to lose some weight, she would get angry and shout: "I am a proud fat Soviet woman. I am fat, so I am strong and large, and I will thus bear strong and large children. Their women in their America are slim and feminine, all their Ava Gardners and all their Audrey Hepburns, so they bear puny, weak, and feminine sons, who turn out to be spoiled princes. But, we, Russian women, are heavy and big, so we give birth to strong masculine sons, who are manly enough to defend our homeland. So, I am a big beautiful woman!"
Soviet men were shamed if they wanted to date slim women. They would be told that "only dogs go for the bones". They were constantly pressured to man up and date a "large" woman and "love all of her".
Doesn't that sound familiar to some women in modern USA and to the modern day fat acceptance?
In modern USA, at least in Saint Paul, Minnesota, there are still very few women who are like this. At least in Saint Paul, Minnesota, most young women are quite slim. They get heavier only in middle age. But in Soviet Russia, perhaps over 80% of young women were overweight.

I have childhood memories of Soviet women and they looked very unattractive, even the young ones. And I remember noticing how much more attractive American women looked in comparison, after my family moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota. Even though I was a child and did not yet enter puberty, I still noticed the large difference in attractiveness.

I know that there is a member on this board named Ladislav who lived in Ukraine when it was still part of USSR.
Does he still post on this forum?
If he does, I wonder what are his observations of Russian women from the later Soviet period.
And I wonder when did the change happen.
It may have happened around 2000-2005, when Millennial women started coming of age, and when Gen-Xer women started to age out of young adulthood. Perhaps, Russian/Ukrainian women started to slim down, grow their hair long, put on makeup, and adapt Western feminine fashions to show off to the world that they were not Communist women anymore. Or maybe they realized that they were now competing with the still better looking Western women, and had to learn to look at least as good as them. If Ladislav is still on this forum, I wonder whether he saw a drastic change in how Russian/Ukrainian women began to look after the end of Communism.

The problem is that Russians have a tradition to go between extremes, with no middle ground. Once they absorbed more feminine Western styles, they really overdid it!

This seems like a Russian thing: If a certain trend arises in the West, the initial reaction is a brutal and categorical rejection of this new Western trend. But once this trend earnestly reaches Russia and gets absorbed into society, then Russians adapt the trend with vengeance that makes the West surprised in awe.
For example, when labor movements began in USA, Great Britain, and France in 19th century, the majority of Russians dismissed labor movements as heresy against religion, as 19th century Russia was very Orthodox. But where did the socialist revolution eventually take place? In USA, Great Britain, or France? No, in Russia! Once the labor movement did reach the Russian territory, the new generation really absorbed these Western ideas with vengeance.
Same with women's looks. When growing out long hair, wearing lipstick and makeup, wearing heels, low rise jeans, mini-skirts, tank tops, and long stockings became a fashion in USA in 1960s, Soviet women harshly dismissed this. Soviet women did not take any care of their weight, hair, facial complexion, and clothes. Most were proud landwhales. But when the Western sexy fashions did finally reach the former USSR in late 1990s/early 2000s, the new generation of Russian/Ukrainian women began to follow these sexy fashions farther to extreme than American women ever did.

And another takeaway from this post is that female beauty is very controllable.
So, depending on how much a woman takes care of her weight, how she dresses, and how she styles her hair, it can make a huge difference. Depending on how she takes care of herself, she can go from 3 to 7 or vice versa.
In just one generation, the average Russian/Ukrainian woman went from being one of the ugliest in the world to being one of the most attractive.
Men's looks are far less controllable. For example, as a man, if you are 177 cm tall, are balding, have brown eyes, it will not be possible for you to look like a Chris Hemsworth, even if you undergo 10 plastic surgeries. As a man, your jaw will not become chiseled, your facial features will not become Aryan, your facial structure will not become Aryan, your height will never grow to 190 cm. As a man, you will never attain the current ridiculous standard of male looks that the media presents as the only attractive type. A man can gain muscle and lose fat, but he will never attain the exact facial proportions and body proportions of these model men.
But if a woman slims down, grows out long hair, puts on feminine or sexy clothes, she will come quite close to looking like a female model.
The Russian and Ukrainian women are a living proof that female looks are controllable.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby Voyager1 » August 13th, 2017, 9:00 am

They looked the same. They are not going to suddenly slim down just because of the collapse of communism. It's just that they dressed differently back then. They didn't have such sexy clothes, hair and makeup as they do today. The clothing was very basic back then. Also your examples are pictures of old women. I am sure if you find pictures of younger women you will find them to be quite attractive minus all the tight fitting outfits.

I found some images of Russian women from 1959:

Image

Image

Image
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 9:11 am

The above attached pictures are of models, not ordinary young women.
These photographs are posed, and the women on them are not representative of general Soviet female population. Maybe at most 0.25-0.5% of it.
Just like most modern American women are not all Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts lookalikes.

One can take most beautiful women from the population, maybe the top one percent. Women who are more beautiful than 99% of their female peers. This will be one thing.
Or one can take the average girl from the population. She is be 50-th percentile, i.e. half of her female peers will be more beautiful than her and one half will be less beautiful. This will be a whole other thing. And this will be far more representative.
And in Russia/Ukraine in Soviet times and in Yeltsin's times, the AVERAGE was very low compared to average young women in USA from the same times.

I know an old tailor from USSR who sewed women's clothes between 1965 and 1992. He specialized in clothes for women of ages 16-35.
He said that the average height was 155-160 cm (5'1 to 5'3).
The typical female weight range was 75-90 kg (165 to 200 lbs).
So, this translates into BMI range of 29 to 37.5.

The average Soviet young woman looked truly horrible. And I could see this with my own eyes as a child in USSR in late 1980s and early 1990s.
When my family moved to Saint Paul, MInnesota, I could see how much slimmer and better dressed the American women were and how much better faces they had in comparison. Even though I was just a child.

The average Soviet young woman was fatter than an average African-American woman today
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby Voyager1 » August 13th, 2017, 9:38 am

Children tend to look like their parents. Ugly people are not suddenly going to give birth to beautiful children.

You are missing it. Back in Soviet times the general population did not have access to fashionable clothes, makeup and hairstylists.

So you are way off here. Maybe we can have someone who lived back in that era weigh in.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 9:47 am

The problem with women's looks in former USSR until early 2000s was mostly HUGE female obesity, much greater than in today's America.

American women looked great until recently (most still do), but due to rising female obesity, an average American woman looks worse than she did 5-10 years ago

The weight changed for Russian/Ukrainian women, only the reverse happened. They lost weight, and thus look better now.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby Voyager1 » August 13th, 2017, 10:19 am

If you're right and I'm not saying that you are right but what would your reasoning be that former USSR women were obese? Certainly they had no McDonalds or fast food back then and I would assume that their food supply was more natural and organic (no gmo, etc.) Cars were not used too much by the general population. Most people walked and took public transportation so they got more exercise back then.

Unless maybe you'd argue that food was supplied by the state and everyone got their fair share of food but still there were food shortages and breadlines during the Soviet era.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby Voyager1 » August 13th, 2017, 10:38 am

Here's a picture of a normal woman taken in 1991, shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Image

Wow she looks hot. Certainly not obese!
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 4:53 pm

Here's a picture of a normal woman taken in 1991, shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.


This young woman is a street hooker, not a regular girl. That's why there is the police car right behind her.
This picture was taken for an article that described a growing problem of emerging female prostitution in USSR during perestroika.
A girl like this was top 2% in looks back then.

Unless maybe you'd argue that food was supplied by the state and everyone got their fair share of food but still there were food shortages and breadlines during the Soviet era.


They did not have McDonalds, but Soviet food was fattening too.
And women never purposely dieted and never exercised with the purpose of losing weight.
Meanwhile, I will research more on this phenomenon why Soviet women were obese in general
Last edited by newbgold on August 13th, 2017, 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 5:14 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CaMUfxVJVQ

I know that this is Cold War propaganda, but women in the commercial look quite close to what I remember as a child.

One of the comments to this YouTube video says this:
"And now... big fat American women look like "babushka". Haha! Russian women are slim and beautiful!"
"ffjsb "Decadent American women all look good but are prostitutes", said the USSR's propaganda in the 1970s. Forgive me if I call BS on you and on all four of the mindless drones and Axelrod shills who updinged you."


Indeed, the table have turned for women in Russia and USA in the past 25-30 years
It's now almost opposite of what things were like at the end of the Cold War era
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby Voyager1 » August 13th, 2017, 5:18 pm

Many normal women during that time had to turn to hooking just to survive. So what are you saying? Hookers were on some special diet that everybody else was not?
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 5:37 pm

Only women that belonged to top 10% in their looks turned to prostitution during perestroika and the Yeltsin era.
Only women who had the looks did that.

Many normal women during that time had to turn to hooking just to survive.

Who knows. Maybe this was what initially stimulated Soviet women to start losing weight en masse.
And maybe this produced the new Millennial generation of slimmer women that replaced obese boomer women and overweight Gen-Xer women in Russia/Ukraine.
Maybe the new Millennial generation learned that keeping your weight down, growing out long hair, wearing feminine clothes will increase your probability to find yourself a wealthy man and is thus your ticket out of poverty.
Maybe this partially explains why there was such a quick and drastic turnaround in women's looks around 2000-2005 in Russia/Ukraine.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 6:57 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFaIcx0WkOY
Comments:
batcivic7 years ago
@henrypollack
My girlfriend is Ukrainian. I showed it to her and shes didnt laugh. She watched it and said "Yes this is what it was like" LOL. And when I say Ukrainian I mean still lives there wont leave Ukrainian.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby Winston » August 13th, 2017, 8:01 pm

The backpackers in the hostels in Moscow often remark to each other in the common room that they are surprised how those old Russian babuskas that look huge and rugged, could have looked young and thin and model like in the past, like the young Russian girls today. They have told me, "How does that (beautiful young girl) turn into that (big rugged babushka)?" The young Russian girls and babushkas look like different species. I noticed this too, but none of us had any answer.

From the pics above, it does look like the older elderly Russian women were very different and did not look like the Russian girls today during their youth. Maybe a Russian expert here can explain.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby Voyager1 » August 13th, 2017, 8:45 pm

Actually yeah. Just look at the daughter (beautiful), then the mother, then the grandmother. You will see the sequence of events. It's called aging. Women that don't keep themselves up age faster.
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Re: What Russian/Ukrainian Women Looked Like In the Soviet E

Postby newbgold » August 13th, 2017, 8:53 pm

Aging does certainly take its toll on a woman's looks.
But rarely can it transform a slender beautiful young woman into an old landwhale.
Yes, aging does descrease a woman's beauty, but it can't turn a woman from a model to a monster.
If a woman looks like a monster in old age, it is unlikely that she was beautiful in her youth. She may have looked better, but not very good.

These are Soviet women from WWII era and they were about 22-27 years old on those pictures.

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/cb/f8/fe/cbf8feae026624cf8f016d9c024e0cb7--ww-women-army-women.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/1c/c4/97/1cc497189443e4a49c8a228acfe23fb9--woman-warrior-soviet-union.jpg

And my old tailor friend from USSR tells me that approximate BMI range of young women was about 29-37.5 during the Soviet era.

I am telling you, female obesity in USSR was much higher than female obesity in today's America.

Russian/Ukrainian women used to be landwhales from young age.
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